A common statement you will hear when discussing the gender wage gap is, “Women choose lower-paying careers than men so it’s understandable they make less money.” While sometimes this is true, even when this is not the case, a wage gap still exists.
According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), One year after graduation, it was found that women earned 82 percent of what the men earned, with similar education and experience as their male counterparts. 10 years after graduation, those women were only earning 69 percent of what the men were earning. After accounting for occupation, hours worked, age, college major, and many other factors, an astonishing seven percent difference between the earnings of women and men was left unaccounted for within a year of graduation and a 12 percent unexplained difference was found within 10 years. So it is easy to say that women choose lower paying jobs, but when it comes to both genders having the same job, no one has an answer to why there is a gap. You can find the whole NOW article here.
PayScale, a salary-tracking website, reported that men earned 2.4% more than women. This is comparing both genders with the same job title, at the some company and using similar education and experience. PayScale breaks down the wage gap in an infographic that can be seen here.
Forbes explains a possible reason to why a wage gap exists even though the education, experience, job, and position of both genders may be the same. The first reason Jonathan Webb of Forbes brings up in his article, is the glass ceiling. Webb states: “women are unable to break through to senior positions,” this could be due to discrimination to who gets promoted in companies. This leads to Webb’s next point which is on-the-job discrimination. Webb explains this as: “paying women less than men for the same work but this is often hard to prove; salary is a function of a range of factors, from experience, to capabilities through to knowledge.” Webb’s article on Forbes can be read here. These are two very plausible reasons to why this wage gap exists even when both genders have similar resumes.
In all, while some try to use the excuse of women picking lower-paying jobs then men to why there is a wage gap, it is proven statistically that even when they have the same jobs, a wage gap is still present.
Do Men Really Earn More Than Women? – Infographic. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://www.payscale.com/gender-lifetime-earnings-gap
The Gender Pay Gap – Myth vs. Fact. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from http://now.org/resource/the-gender-pay-gap-myth-vs-fact/
Webb, J. (2016, March 31). Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men – Even In The Same Job. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jwebb/2016/03/31/women-are-still-paid-less-than-men-even-in-the-same-job/#31974b7d4709